World Juniors starting to move forward after Hockey Canada shakeup, organizer says

The change at the top of Hockey Canada this week does not end the uncertainty surrounding the world junior men’s hockey championships to be held in Moncton and Halifax.

The event is still awaiting the green light from the City of Moncton and the province, but organizers need to « start moving some things forward in hopes that the Games will happen, » said John Wishart, CEO of the Moncton Chamber of Commerce. Greater Moncton. and a member of the local tournament organizing committee.

The championships are scheduled to start in Moncton and Halifax on Dec. 26 and run until Jan. 5.

Hockey Canada announced tuesday its entire board and CEO, Bathurst native Scott Smith, will step down.

New Brunswick still has questions

The overhaul came as the sports organization faced widespread criticism over its handling of sexual assault allegations.

Premier Blaine Higgs told reporters this week that he still has questions about the changes that will be made to processes and procedures.

In a joint statement last week, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold said they looked forward to « meaningful changes » from Hockey Canada so the tournament can go ahead.

At a council meeting on Tuesday, the Halifax council and Savage confirmed support for the tournament.

Aloma Jardine, spokesperson for the City of Moncton, said in an email to CBC News on Thursday that the mayor was out of the country and « we have no additional statement beyond the joint message issued last week. last by the mayors of Moncton and Halifax. «

Jardine said planning for the event is continuing and organizers are meeting with partners. She said more concrete information will be shared as it becomes available.

Wishart said organizers need to see what’s going on with Hockey Canada’s leadership and sponsorship, but now that things are a little clearer, the focus is on « engaging as many people as possible. » local or regional [or] the provincial support we can.

May be different from previous championships

« Some of these things that were maybe handled in the past by, you know, national or international bodies. Juniors might look a little different, but there’s always a big opportunity, and I think we can’t miss it. »

Wishart said the local organizing committee is relieved that Hockey Canada has taken a step towards resolving the issues, but added that there is still a long way to go to restore trust.

With only two months to prepare for the Junior World Championships, the committee must mobilize the business community and other key players to present “the best Junior World Championship possible”.

« In the meantime, we have work to do, as long as the province and the city are still committed to, you know, supporting the games. We have work to do as a community. That’s the real purpose of the group. local organization now. »

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